#506 – January 1, 2014 Playlist

Wednesday MidDay Medley
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rural Grit Radio

Wednesday MidDay Medley rang in the New Year with Rural Grit Radio, a special celebration of 20 years of Rural Grit Records & Productions that has hosted the Rural Grit Happy Hour for the past 15 years in Kansas City. Rural Grit were the first to record The Wilders, and feature the music of many of KC’s prominent musicians and songwriters.

Joining Mark as guest producers and guest co-hosts were: Kim Stanton, Executive Director; Mark Smeltzer, Principle Musician of Rural Grit; and KC Stanton longtime host of Rural Grit Happy Hour.

1. Trouble In Mind – “Titanic”
from: 21 Song Demo / Rural Grit Records / 1992
[Trouble In Mind were: Patrick Frazier, Mark Smeltzer, Don Carrick, Mike Murphy. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Randy Wolf in Maryville, MO. Rural Grit was started by Trouble In Mind and Randy Wolf. At a show at Whistler’s Mother, a coffeehouse about Whitler’s Books in Westport, Trouble In Mind met The Young Johnny Carson Story (Ike Sheldon, Tom Livesay and Clayton Brown) and The Dhurries (Phil Wade and Betse Ellis). The night that Whistler’s Mother closed down their friendships and musical explorations expanded.]


2. Dale Frazier – “Tough Luck”
from: Dressed Up & It’s Hot – Farther On / Rural Grit Records / 2001
[notes: Recorded live at Tickfest 2001 by Brendan Moreland and Tom Livesay. Mixed and mastered by Phil Wade.]

3. Jerry, Len, Jen – “The Cuckoo”
from: Tick 777 / Rural Grit Records / 2007
[Recorded live at Tickfest 2007 held at the farm of Dale Frazier. Jerry, len & Jen were traveling friends of Dale Frazier’s who dropped in and played a few songs. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Smeltzer.]

4. Sandoval – “Coal Train Coming”
from: Randy’s Road Tape / Rural Grit Records/1999
[Sandoval was: Tony Ladesich, Brendan Moreland & guest Mark Smeltzer. Recorded live around a campfire at Tick Ranch in 1998 by Randy Wolf. Mixed & mastered by Randy Wolf.]

5. Columbo – “Arkansas Sheik”
from: Dressed Up & It’s Hot-Tongue Unknown/ Rural Grit Records / 2001
[Columbo was: Ike Sheldon, Mark Smeltzer, Nate Gawron and Mike Dolumbo. Recorded live at Tickfest 2001by Brendan Moreland and Tom Livesay. Mixed and mastered by Phil Wade.]


6. The Kemps – “Will You Miss Me”
from: High Atop The Haybale / Rural Grit Records / 2000
[The Kemps were: Mark Stevenson, Scott Gobber, Amy Bhesania. Recorded live at Winfield in 1999 on the Rural Grit Stage. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Randy Wolf.]

7. Patrick Frazier – “Tear Open Your Heart”
from: Unreleased / 2003
[Patrick Frazier, with: Ike Sheldon, Clayton Brown. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Clayton Brown in Chicago.]


8. Nate Gawron & The Gospel Three – “When I Was A Sinner”
from: Happy Times / Rural Grit Records / 2001
[Nate Gawron, Ike Sheldon, Brendan Moreland, Scott Gobber. Recorded live at Tickfest 2000. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Randy Wolf]

9.Ike Sheldon – “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”
from: Dressed Up & It’s Hot – Farther On / Rural Grit Records / 2001
[Recorded live at Tickfest 2001 by Brendan Moreland and Tom Livesay. Mixed and mastered by Phil Wade.]

10. The Severe Brothers – “By The Way The River Runs”
from: Dressed Up & It’s Hot – Farther On / Rural Grit Records / 2001
[Stephen Hartley and David Regnier. Recorded live at Tickfest 2001 by Brendan Moreland and Tom Livesay. Mixed and mastered by Phil Wade.]

11. Freight Train Rabbit Killer – “Saw Brother Judas”
from: Freight Train Rabbit Killer / Rural Grit Records / 2013
[Mark Smeltzer and Kristopher Bruders. Recorded live at the Open Fire Pizza afterhours in 2013 by Mark Smeltzer. Mixed and mastered by Mark Smeltzer]


12. Mel McDonald – “Mr. Crump Don’t Like It”
from: Dressed Up & It Hot – Farther On / Rural Grit Records / 2001
[Recorded live at Tickfest 2001 by Brendan Moreland and Tom Livesay. Mixed and mastered by Phil Wade.]

13. Dale Frazier & The Black Greasy Firemen – “Ballad of the Black Greasy Firemen”
from: Tick 777 / Rural Grit Records / 2007
[notes: Dale Frazier, Mark Smeltzer, Don Carrick, Sterling Brown, Chris DeVictor, David Regnier. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Smeltzer.]

14. The Wilders – “Sandy Boys”
from: Show Us Your Tick / Rural Grit Records / 2003
[Ike Sheldon, Betse Ellis, Phil Wade, Nate Gawron. Recorded live at Tickfest 2003. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Smeltzer.]


15. Trouble In Mind – “Fortress”
from: Mudlick / Rural Grit Records / 1998
[Mike Murphy, Don Carrick, Patrick Frazier, Mark Smeltzer. Recorded two-track live at the Tick Ranch Studio in 1997. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Randy Wolf.]

16. Clayton Brown – “I Wanted You Around”
from: Epitaphs From the Tomb of the Unknown Loser/ Rural Grit Records/1999
[notes: Clayton Brown recorded, mixed and mastered at his house in Kansas City, MO.]

17. The Whittlers – “Dressed Up & It’s Hot”
from: Dressed Up & It’s Hot-Tongue Unknown / Rural Grit Records / 2001
[The Whittlers were: Tom Livesay, Phil Wade, with guest Ike Sheldon. Recorded live at Tickfest 2001by Brendan Moreland and Tom Livesay. Mixed and mastered by Phil Wade.]

11:25 – Interview with Ike Sheldon

18. Dually Jukes – “Trust of a Fool”
from: Unreleased / 2011
[David Regnier, Mark Smeltzer. Recorded live in Smeltzer’s living room. Mixed and mastered by Mark Smeltzer.]

19. Freight Train Rabbit Killer – “Old American Law”
from: Freight Train Rabbit Killer/ Rural Grit Records/2013
[notes: Kristopher Bruders, Mark Smeltzer. Recorded live at Open Fire Pizza afterhours. Mixed and mastered by Mark Smeltzer.]

11:43 – Underwriting


20. Mark Smeltzer – “Lay Your Burden Down”
from: Mudlick/ Rural Grit Records/1998
[Recorded live at Tick Ranch Studio. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Randy Wolf.]

21. Betse Ellis – “Question To Lay Your Burden Down”
from: High Moon Order/Free Dirt/2013
[Betse Ellis with: Jason Beers, Jonathan Kraft, Josh Mobley, Mark Smeltzer, Michael Stover, Mike West. Recorded at 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor, Lawrence, KS. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mike West. Produced by Mike West and Betse Ellis. ]


22. Pattonsburg Levee Volunteers – “Highsteppin’ Country Girl”
from: Tick / Rural Grit Records / 2007
[The song that ends every Rural Grit Happy Hour known as Jubilee.]

Notes on Rural Grit from Kim Stanton:

Mission Statement: Rural Grit is dedicated to the promotion, performance, and preservation of roots music and strives to provide opportunities for like-minded individuals to further their artistic causes.

… a bio…a biography of who we are…we are a group of individuals who play and work together. We are musicians, artists, teachers, students, social workers, farmers, welders, engineers, chefs, retailers, conservationists, realists, and idealists.

Our focus is roots music–old time, old country, honky tonk, blues, juke joint and original music–traditional sounds to experiments beyond the accepted boundaries. Rural Grit has a stable of performers who create and perform in more than one of these genres.

Rural Gritters are linked by the belief that artists from the past laid down a foundation to be enhanced and built upon. They are encouraged and supported by like-minded musicians, family, and friends to express this belief.

Rural Grit is an exchange of ideas and information. Education is always at the forefront.

Rural Grit provides recording opportunities. We capture live recordings whenever possible.

…Rural Grit is a group of individuals who work and play together.
Rural Grit started from the musical/artistic homesteading of a band called Trouble In Mind (Mark Smeltzer, Patrick Frazier, Mike Murphy & Don Carrick) and a sound engineer (Randy Wolf). Formed in 1990 in Maryville, Missouri, Trouble In Mind and their sound freak friend stuck together–creating and recording music. In 1994, they self-released ‘Trouble In Mind’ on the Rural Grit Label; the name ‘Rural Grit’ was chosen to describe the kind of music that Trouble In Mind created–they never could be identified by one genre and the idea of grit use on the farm appealed to them. After the release, they continued to record–in their attics, basements, and out at the Tick Ranch in the original farmhouse.

When Trouble In Mind started, the music world looked a lot different in Kansas City than it does today. For example: there was a single booking agency that was extremely powerful and if you didn’t belong to their stable of performers, then you didn’t get booked. Of course there were underground shows or underage shows, but they were often shut down by the city after the first show. Acoustic shows were unheard of-you couldn’t find one anywhere. At that time, coffee shops had just started to exist and were beginning to host more diverse/eclectic shows but the public wasn’t that accepting, yet. Groups like Uncle Tupelo and movements like No Depression were regional at best. Everything in KC was very much a formula and the thing that you could really rely on from audiences was a big round of indifference. It seemed like gigs at that time were based not on good music, but whether the band could play something that was known and popular, and in a style that was known and popular. Bands, just by the nature of the music scene, couldn’t really be all that creative. Even to this day, the general population of this city doesn’t really support local music. People don’t know what they like; they like what they know.

Trouble In Mind didn’t care if they were popular or not. They soon realized that the kind of music that they wanted to hear, they’d have to be playing it themselves. Maybe they just didn’t know any better–none of them grew up here; they all grew up in small towns, met at a small town university (Northwest Missouri State University) and gravitated together to KC. They didn’t look for anyone to respect what they did, so when they weren’t respected, they didn’t care. The main difference between them and any other “punk” band was that they didn’t call it quits after six months. Trouble In Mind only played music that they thought people should hear, not what the public wanted to hear. This attitude led to a following that was 98% musicians–artists from all different kinds and types of musical expression.

The underground scene that was present at the time enabled them to meet musicians like: Dale Frazier, The Young Johnny Carson Story, The Dhurries, My Childhood Hero, and Blue Museum. None of these artists publicly played the same kind of music, but as they hosted house parties and afters or hung out for an afternoon, a community of musicians emerged. The artists challenged and supported each other. They each shared their American musical roots–by listening to old recordings, playing the traditional or revised versions and revealing their song-writing abilities. This established an outpost that didn’t cater to the popular thing at the time. They tried to encourage other artists to go farther back and listen–to try to find the roots. Trouble In Mind and Randy were constantly recording and inviting others to record with them. It wasn’t about the next record deal or being a star. It was about playing music, being honest, and following your heart/soul.

In 1995 The Santa Rosa Tick Fest began. Trouble In Mind, Randy Wolf and Dale Frazier hosted the Santa Rosa Tick Fest–a weekend long playing/recording extravaganza. That year the infamous “Meat Gig” at the American Royal began. They continued to meet, play and socialize with new artists and newly founded bands (Foolish Sad Robot, Daysleeper, The Wilders, Santa Rosa String Band, The Kemps, Sandoval, Secret Liquor Cure).

In 1996 longtime friends, KC and Kim Stanton, returned to the area and helped Trouble In Mind out with the business end–bookings, publicity and merchandise sells.

The community of musicians continued to musically interact. Randy continued to record, record, record. Other artists wanted to release on the Rural Grit Label–Dale Frazier, Santa Rosa String Band, The Wilders, The Kemps, Clayton Brown and Al Trout. Decisions were made about what did we want Rural Grit to be. We went the full gamut–with a board of directors, monthly meetings, a mission statement, and even procedures. The core group–Mark, Pat, Mike, Don, Dale, Randy, KC, Kim, Ike, and Betse–agreed on this: Rural Grit was not out to make money. We provided the label name. Each artist that released on the label would do all the work, thus garnering all the money and owning all rights to the record. Rural Grit would produce shows or events and we would recorded it. Rural Grit would release compilations or anthologies from their own recordings. All proceeds from Rural Grit merchandise and shows would go back into the general fund to maintain recording gear and RG merchandise, produce Tick Fest and have some money available for our uninsured artists. There would be no regular paid positions–basically everything done is on a volunteer basis.

That’s how Rural Grit started–a lot of work, dedication, love of music and hanging with like-minded folks.

Rural Grit Happy Hour–What it started as…what it is today.
On August 23, 1998, the band Trouble In Mind was scheduled to play a Sunday night gig at the Grand Emporium. Three weeks before the gig, the other two scheduled bands cancelled and we were asked if we wanted to try and fill the night. What an exciting prospect…one whole night, designed by us, we couldn’t resist the lure. For a number of years, we had been putting on the legendary 15 hour Tick Festival out in the middle of nowhere, so we knew we could round up musicians and put on a show. In addition, we had also recorded the Tick Fest that summer and wanted to release the music. So, we moved into high gear, rounding up the musicians who had played at the Tick Fest, mastered a 90 minute cassette for release and advertised.

“Rural Grit Records invites you to the 49th Annual Santa Rosa Tick Fest Tape Release Party” Featuring: Trouble In Mind, The Wilders, The Kemps, Sandoval, Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys and The Santa Rosa Stringband. The four hour show turned into a 5 1/2 hour show–there was constant music with main acts- acoustic and electric, in-between acts, to acts standing on chairs in the audience to battery powered amp wielding musicians mingling with the crowd. It was a huge success.

Roger Naber, owner of the GE, asked us if we would be interested doing such a show monthly. After discussion, we decided that we could do it every 4 months. The next show was scheduled for Sunday, January 1, 1999. It was crazy to take on the odds of having a successful show on the day after New Year’s Eve but we decided to try . We even ended up competing with a snowstorm, but the musicians and audience still showed up to participate.

Not long after the success of the January 1st show, Roger, who had just returned from Austin where he had attended a variety of Happy Hour shows at clubs, like the Continental Club, contacted Kc, who had lived in Austin and was familiar with how the Happy Hour shows ran. They discussed Rural Grit putting on a weekly Happy Hour Show. We decided to do it—we’d have a weekly event at the GE, a reputable club; we would have a regular venue for our artists to perform; we could meet more musicians. After some discussion and sweet persuasion, Ike Sheldon (The Wilders and Trouble In Mind) agreed to host the weekly Happy Hour. ..Brother Ike..s Rural Grit Happy Hour at the Grand Emporium.. began on the first Monday of February in 1999.

“Brother Ike’s Rural Grit Happy Hour (RGHH) every Monday 6:00-8:00” –In the beginning, we featured local bands–artists that were part of Rural Grit or networked with Rural Grit artists. Attendance was sparse during the first several months–what in the hell did we think we’re doing? We realized that what we were offering was too much like every other show offered in Kansas City. We decided to make the Happy Hour more like our big shows–constant music of a wide variety with some element of the unorthodox each night. We wanted to create a situation where musicians and music lovers were the regulars.

Our mission statement (Rural Grit is dedicated to the promotion, performance, and preservation of roots music and strives to provide opportunities for like-minded individuals to further their artistic causes) provided the road map for the RGHH. We decided to keep the RGHH acoustic in nature and the focus on Roots Music. The stage plot designed was a single mic set up, a large single diaphragm microphone. This eliminated the need for the full-time sound engineer (Randy, Little John, Jenna, Conrad, Mark) to take music time away using multiple mic set ups. We noticed that with the single mic, artists were placed in a situation where they had to listen to each other with out monitors and they were able to quickly get on and off the stage. There was usually a bass mic and an extra 57 as a spot for quiet instruments, however, these were seldom used.

To create a music, party-like atmosphere and check out booking prospects, the—Inbetweens: were created to allow artists who were not featured that evening to participate. “Duets & Trios” night (every 3rd Monday) was an opportunity for beginners to interface with skilled amateurs to professional road-dogs and for all artists to test new material/instruments. “Theme Nights” (like Death, Disaster and Destruction, or Trainwrecks and Catastrophes, or Outlaws and the Women Who Loved Them) and ”VS” nights (as in Hank Williams Sr. VS Robert Johnson, or Johnny Cash VS Muddy Waters) were created to add variety and encourage learning new material. “Electric Freakout” (every 5th Monday) was a night for our musicians who also played electrically to rock out. Occasionally we had touring bands featured, which opened the need for opening acts, in response the “Rural Grit All-Stars” were created. This is a changing group of artists who frequent the RGHH and can be tailored to compliment the touring band. We also put on two 6-hour shows a year–The Winter Tick Fest and The Anniversary Show.

By the end of 2002, the consistent touring of The Wilders kept Ike and company at the Happy Hour less, but by that time, we had met another wave of crazy, musician types who sure did like getting together and exploring musical roots firsthand. All the time The Wilders were beginning to trek across the country, spreading Rural Grit recordings far and wide. At this time we changed the name officially to the Rural Grit Happy Hour.

At the beginning of 2003, the Rural Grit Happy Hour was still in full swing, providing musicians with a unique networking opportunity and the audience with variety each week. Roger extended our hours and the RGHH was the only gig offered on Monday nights. The RGHH had become a place where musicians connected and created new bands, where young bands came to spread their wings, and old timers came back to reconnect with the young. In addition, there was a core loyal following among musicians, patrons and staff. Amazing Grace was there each Mondays feedin’ us soul food; it went well with the soul of the music. It was real, honest– it was music from the heart for the heart. We felt like we had actually done something good, something to be proud of and something that was continuing to grow.

In May of 2004 a series of unforeseen events took place: Roger had cut a deal to sell the Grand Emporium. The new owners planned to rip out everything, down to the studs–nothing would remain the same except the stage. We did not want the RGHH to end but where to go after 5 years and 3 months. Other happy hour shows had come and gone but the Rural Grit had outlasted them and now the venue itself!

Memorial Day- a day we usually take off-would be the last day the GE’s doors would open and the RGHH would be the final event at the GE. We decided to put on a Big Show–Memoriam at The Grand Emporium–everyone was coming together for the last show, flyers were posted, radio and print interviews. Everything was high energy; people were exited. Musicians and fans alike had begged, pleaded, demanded that the RGHH go on somewhere else. We thought, “o.k., but where?” Where indeed. Venues from across the city were courting us. We didn’t want to make a decision in such a short period of time, so it was decided that we would “take a summer vacation” at Mike’s Tavern playing theme shows and scout out a permanent venue.

The Saturday night before the last show at the GE was when the second of a series of unforeseen events took place. A F4 tornado cut a deadly path through Davies County MO, home of the Santa Rosa Tick Festival and the magical Tick Ranch studio. Dale, Mary and cousin Jeff made it out alive, but some folks just down the road did not. As for the studio, (really an old farm house) the main record room was amazingly just fine but the roof above the engineer’s room was ripped off and 7 inches of rain was dumped inside. It would rain 5 more inches that week and another funnel cloud would threaten two weeks later. However, 40 yards away an earth contact home was destroyed. Now not only we looking for a new venue, but we had less than 2 months to repair the studio and clean up the debris to get ready for Tick Fest. Ever cleaned up after a F4 tornado–it’s one hell of a job! The final RGHH at the GE was a huge success–over 150 patrons and 50 musicians closed the GE in style.

At the end of our summer vacation at Mike’s Tavern, we decided to move to The Brick. So the RGHH continues on Monday nights from 6-9 p.m. at The Brick. We keep to the same format that we used in the past. There are featured bands/artists with “Inbetweens”. Every third Monday of the month is Duets & Trios night. Every fifth Monday is the Electric Freakout. We still have theme nights or vs nights. We still use a single mic. We still encourage the networking between musicians and supporting a like-minded community.

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:

Show #506


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